Botswana in the last financial year consumed 1673,1 tonnes of pork whilst it produced only 470,57 tonnes .
This is according to the coordinator of piggery department in the Ministry of Agriculture Thomas Tadubana. Most of the imported pork, he explained, is processed pork which the country is still not able to produce.
On what the Ministry is doing to promote the industry, he said that government interventions in an effort to promote the piggery sector include provision of improved breeding stock through Sebele Pig Multiplication Unit, provision of free training to both pig farmers and aspirant pig farmers, provision of free piggery extension services and regulation of imports of pig and pig products to encourage local production.
He said that the challenges include inadequate skills and culture of commercial pig production by most producers.
Also, there is a high cost production due to high feed prices ÔÇô most of the feed raw materials are being imported; shortage of water supply to some producers and some resort to bowsing water for their projects.
Lack of organized market for pork and shortage of slaughter facilities that are compliant to Livestock and meat industry act and lack of local further pork processing plants (for value addition to cater for different tastes and preferences for the market of today.)
On the future of the industry, Tadubana says that there is a large scale pig project (Primo Pork) of 300 sow unit which was established this year in Kweneng district and it is expected to alleviate the pork shortage in the country. The company, he said, is currently constructing the abattoir and hopefully the processing plant.